The random witterings of Jonathan Morris, writer.

Saturday, 25 May 2013

Crime of the Century

 
Deleted scene time again! And this time from Doctor Who: The Crimes Of Thomas Brewster, released in January 2011 and still available here. I wrote about it being released here and about the recording here and here.

Looking on my hard drive, there are about 20-odd drafts of the story (each day I’d start with a new draft number) and as I was adding and deleting scenes as I went along, it’s quite hard to find them all, so this is by no means complete; this is just as much effort as I am prepared to put in right now.

When the story was written and recorded it was called The Gathering Swarm, with my intention (or at least my presumption) being that the fact that the story featured Thomas Brewster would come as a surprise not only to the Doctor, but also to the listener. As it was, the title got changed before release, I’m not sure why, but I daresay the reasons were good. But it now meant the listener was one step ahead of the Doctor throughout the first episode.


I should also add that, of course, these deleted scenes are stuff that was cut out, and so are not indicative of the quality of the finished product (!) and that they may contain ‘spoilers’ so if you haven’t heard The Crimes of Thomas Brewster then buy it and listen to it now!

Anyway. The first cut bit was from scene 14. I’m not sure why it was cut but I suspect it was because a) the episode was too long and b) when re-writing, you sometimes notice that if you take a chunk out of the middle of the conversation it doesn’t affect anything and still flows and doesn’t mean you lose anything, but it means everyone gets to the point much quicker:

SCENE 14. EXT. STREET IN BERMONDSEY.

[...]

GALLAGHER:
I’m so glad.

DOCTOR:
And the person in charge of this rival organisation, he calls himself the Doctor?

GALLAGHER:
Yeah. No name, just a title. A right man of mystery.

MICK:
But, Mister Gallagher, this is him, I didn’t – (mess up)

DOCTOR:
Ah, I think I understand what’s happened here. I am the Doctor but, alas, not the Doctor you’re looking for.

GALLAGHER:
So who are you?

Originally the cliff-hanger of episode one was based around the Doctor’s predicament rather than Evelyn's:

SCENE 19. INT. GALLAGHER’S OFFICE.

THE MOSQUITOES ARE BLASTING AWAY, WITH GANGSTERS RETURNING FIRE AND BEING KILLED.

GALLAGHER:
These robot insect things... they’re here because of you?

DOCTOR:
I’m afraid so. One of them attempted to kill me early this morning. They must have picked up my trail somehow.

A BLAST CAUSES THE GROUND TO SHAKE, WALLS COLLAPSE.

MICK:
They’re blasting their way in through the roof - we’re gonna have to evacuate downstairs!

GALLAGHER:
Mick, you tell the men to keep firing, no matter what.

MICK:
Whatever you say, Mister Gallagher. Whatever you say.

DOOR CLOSES.

DOCTOR:
Listen to me! You have to call your men off, it’s your only chance -

GALLAGHER:
Is that right, Doctor?

DOCTOR:
You don’t believe you can stop those things with bullets, do you? They’re not going to let anything get in the way between them and their objective!

GALLAGHER:
Their objective being seeing you dead.

DOCTOR:
Yes.

GALLAGHER:
Well, then we shall just have to give them what they want, shan’t we...?

A GUN SAFETY CATCH CLICKS OFF AS THE BATTLE CONTINUES...

END OF PART ONE

The following section wasn’t cut so much as rewritten because it was felt that it crossed the line into ‘silly’:
  
SCENE 56. BREWSTER’S TIME MACHINE CHAMBER.

[...]

MENZIES STEPS FORWARD.

MENZIES:
I’m the Doctor.

BREWSTER:
What?

MENZIES:
I’m the Doctor. The traveller in Time and Space. It’s me.

BREWSTER:
You?

MENZIES:
And Norman – Norm – here. Is my companion.

DOCTOR:
(INCREDULOUS) I am? (COVERING) I mean, I am.

BREWSTER:
But you’re... but you’re...

MENZIES:
What?

BREWSTER:
A woman!

MENZIES:
I thought you said you knew I could change my appearance.

BREWSTER:
Yeah, but... only up to a point!

DOCTOR:
You’re surprised? I was there when it happened! I didn’t know where to look!

BREWSTER:
You mean, you used to be a male Doctor, and now you’re –

MENZIES:
- more attractive in a skirt, yes. I have to admit, it took some getting used to...

This scene was cut because all the information in it would be repeated later on anyway:

68. INT. TERRAVORE HIVE-SHIP.

BACK IN THE CONTROL CENTRE WITH THE QUEEN.

TERRAVORE QUEEN:
The organics have been spared. As requested.

EVELYN:
All of them?

TERRAVORE QUEEN:
Correct.

EVELYN:
I am grateful. They shall not come to any further harm?

TERRAVORE QUEEN:
That is conditional upon your provision of information.

EVELYN:
As you wish. I speak on behalf of the Locus. In return for the humans’ lives, we will provide you with details of the location of the space-time wormhole. You will use that wormhole to conduct your swarm to the Earth, to exploit that planet instead of Symbios. You shall leave this world unmolested and you are never to return.

TERRAVORE QUEEN:
We consent to your terms. Now. Provide us with the co-ordinates of the temporal breach!

EVELYN:
Oh, I’ll do better than that. I’ll show you.

And I cut a couple of lines from the end of this scene, as ‘prepare it for my triumph’ was such a good line to go out on:

70. EXT. SURFACE OF THE PLANET SYMBIOS.

[...]

TERRAVORE QUEEN:
Excellent. I shall gather the Terravore swarm... and send them to this world to prepare it for my triumph!

EVELYN:
The interface will remain open. The humans under our control on Earth will be released from our influence.

TERRAVORE QUEEN:
They shall not survive long. I can sense my drones on Earth, awaiting their activation signal.... yes, yes!

I cut the beginning of this scene, not sure why, probably just because my first draft of episode four was far too long:

72. INT. TERRAVORE BROOD CHAMBER.

B/G EFFECTS AS BEFORE.

FLIP:
What is this, this ‘brood chamber’?

DOCTOR:
I’m very much afraid it’s the Terravore equivalent of a larder.

JARED:
We’re lunch. Oh, terrific. I went on a diet for this!

Similarly, this entire scene was cut:

76. INT. STREET/UNDERGROUND TUNNEL.

TERRAVORE STREAMING OUT OF UNDERGROUND TUNNEL, SCREECHING AND BLASTING VICTORIOUSLY. POLICE, AMBULANCE FIRE SIRENS. SCREAMS AND CAR HORNS AND CRASHES.

GALLAGHER:
Blimey, how many of you are there?

TERRAVORE:
Nine-hundred and forty drones. And Terravore Queen.

GALLAGHER:
Oh, her majesty, right! Nice system of government you’ve got there.

TERRAVORE:
Your observation is redundant.

POLICE SIRENS GET NEARER. HELICOPTER THUNDERS OVERHEAD.

GALLAGHER:
The old bill’s on their way... Aright, lads, you know what to do. Take up positions!

I cut quite a lot from this scene, mainly characters spelling things out which either had already been spelt out or would be spelt out later or which didn’t need spelling out at all:

78. EXT. JUNGLE ON THE PLANET SYMBIOS.

[...]

DOCTOR:
No, I think the swarm instinct has taken over. All that matters to them now is traversing the temporal breach.

BREWSTER:
To Earth.

JARED:
We’ve got to shut that thing down, block them off.

DOCTOR:
And there’s only way to do that. Brewster’s time machine.

MENZIES:
But that’s back on Earth too –

DOCTOR:
Exactly. So we’re going to have to traverse the breach too.

JARED:
What? That big wobbly circle they’re all disappearing into?

DOCTOR:
I recommend we all move very carefully, don’t make any sudden movements... and keep our heads down! After me!

SUDDEN CRACK OF THUNDER. EARTHQUAKE. MUD SUCKING SOUND.

FLIP
Doctor. My feet, they’re stuck. The mud, it’s like it’s pulling at me, pulling me down...

JARED:
Yeah, I can hardly move... the ground’s shifting...

DOCTOR:
Symbios. It’s trying to stop us getting away... we’ve got to get to that portal! Come on! Run!

This scene was cut down for similar reasons:

SCENE 81. INT. BREWSTER’S TIME-MACHINE CHAMBER.
 
[...]

JARED:
Yeah, get a sense of priorities! World ending here!

DOCTOR:
You’re right. So. All I have to do is to close off the space-time wormhole, prevent any more Terravore making it to Earth...

DOCTOR BEGINS PRESSING BUTTONS, PULLING LEVERS.

FLIP:
What about ones that are already here?

DOCTOR:
Once the wormhole is sealed, they’ll lose contact with the control signal and be deactivated. Yes. All I have to do pull this lever - and it’ll all be over.

BUTTONS PRESSED. MACHINE RESPONDS, POWERING DOWN – BUT NOT QUITE.

MENZIES:
Then what are you waiting for?

[...]

MENZIES:
But the Earth... six billion people will die!

DOCTOR:
Six billion humans. But you forget. I am a Time Lord. To me, you’re just another species - and a particularly undeserving one at that!

BREWSTER:
You’re not the Doctor.

DOCTOR:
Oh but I am, Thomas. I am. And you have left me with no other choice. The Locus was right. The Terravore should have Earth!

And a whole section was cut down because it slowed down the pace, with scenes being combined, truncated and re-ordered to make it all happen faster (i.e. Menzies’ trip to the surface happens between scenes). You may also spot one or two or quite a lot of horrendously clunky lines, which proves this is from an early draft:

83. INT. BREWSTER’S TIME-MACHINE CHAMBER.

BREWSTER IS FIDDLING WITH CONTROLS. MACHINE IS WARBLING DANGEROUSLY.

JARED:
Well? Any luck?

BREWSTER:
I’m doing my best, okay, I need to concentrate -(ELECTROCUTED SHARPLY)

SUDDEN SMALL EXPLOSION.

BREWSTER:
It’s no good. I’ve tried everything I can think of, but he’s set every control to cause the machine to overload.

MENZIES: (INTO PHONE)
Bradshaw? Bradshaw? (GIVES UP) Okay. We can either stay here and die, or try and escape. Who’s with me?

JARED:
Yeah, I’d rather do something than just wait.

FLIP:
And me.

MENZIES:
What about you, Thomas?

BREWSTER:
You go. I still might be able to fix this thing –

MENZIES:
Your choice. Alright, let’s go. Keep with me, and stay quiet, we don’t know how many of those things are out there...

DOOR OPENS AS THEY CREEP OUT.

84. EXT. JUNGLE ON THE PLANET SYMBIOS.

TARDIS MATERIALIZES AND DOOR OPENS. IN THE B/G, WE CAN HEAR TERRAVORE AND THE PORTAL.

EVELYN:
Why have you brought us here?

DOCTOR:
Seemed as good a place as any. Give us a chance to watch the last of the Terravore departing the planet.

EVELYN:
The Terravore Queen... she will be the last to leave.

DOCTOR:
Yes, like all royals, can’t go anywhere until they’ve rolled out the red carpet. Now, return Evelyn to me.

EVELYN:
Not until this world is safe. The temporal breach must be closed to prevent the Terravore’s return.

DOCTOR:
You don’t trust them. Very wise. I’ll make sure the breach is closed - once you’ve released Evelyn.

EVELYN:
No, Doctor. We will release Evelyn - but only when the breach is closed. You see, we don’t trust you either!

85. INT. UNDERGROUND TUNNEL.

MENZIES, FLIP AND JARED CLIMBING CLANGING LADDER.

MENZIES:
Come on, nearly there! What’s holding you up?

FLIP:
I’m no good with ladders. My arms are killing me.

MENZIES:
Yeah, well get a move on, or it won’t just be your arms. This is it, this door should take us outside.

DOOR OPENS. LONDON IN CHAOS. HELICOPTERS. GUNFIRE. SIRENS. SCREAMS. CAR CRASHES. AND RAY GALLAGHER, BREATHLESS AND DESPERATE.

JARED:
Oh my god... it’s all on fire, the street, the shops -

GALLAGHER:
Where did you lot spring from?

MENZIES:
Gallagher. I thought you were working for these things.

GALLAGHER:
Opted for early retirement, didn’t I? So how many of you are there?

JARED:
Just us.

GALLAGHER:
Thought so. The Terravore, they’re nothing if not efficient. My men didn’t stand a chance. If I were you, I’d go back where you came from, it’s your only chance.

MENZIES:
What about you? You’ll die if you stay out here.

GALLAGHER:
Armed robbery, G.B.H., even murder, they all go with the territory in my line of business. But even I have to draw the line somewhere. And destroying the whole planet, that crosses the line.

MENZIES:
Pity it’s taken the apocalypse to make you see the light.

FLIP:
Oh my god, they’ve spotted us. They’re coming down.

INDEED THE TERRAVORE ARE WHIZZING TOWARDS US, BLASTING.

GALLAGHER:
Inside. Inside, now, all of you!

MENZIES:
You don’t think you can stop them by shooting at them?

GALLAGHER:
No, but it does me the world of good.

GALLAGHER IS FIRING AT THEM.

TERRAVORE:
Gallagher. You are no longer co-operative.

GALLAGHER:
Well done –

TERRAVORE:
Commencing extraction and exploitation of all chemical resources.

GALLAGHER:
(SCREAMS IN PAIN)

WE HEAR THE SAME EFFECT AS SCENE 27, A HUMAN BEING’S MOLECULES BEING REARRANGED.

TERRAVORE:
Carbon molecular content reconstituted!

86. INT. BREWSTER’S TIME-MACHINE CHAMBER.

BREWSTER:
It turned him into a diamond?

MENZIES:
Yeah. Right before our eyes. And I don’t think they did it for the sake of poetic irony.

FLIP:
If it wasn’t for him, they’d have got us too. He saved our lives.

BREWSTER:
So there’s no way out?

[...]

87. INT. UNDERGROUND CORRIDOR.

JARED AND FLIP RUNNING.

FLIP:
Which was was it again? I’m lost. (YELPS)

JARED:
Look where you’re going.

FLIP:
Excuse me, I’ve been kidnapped, taken to an alien planet, been possessed, battled some robot mosquitoes and jumped through a space-time wormhole... so don’t give me a hard time about tripping over a step, okay?

JARED:
Whatever, don’t bite my head off. Shhhh!

TELL-TALE SOUND OF AN APPROACHING TERRAVORE.

FLIP
Don’t you shush me.

JARED:
There’s a Terravore down here with us. We’d better get a move on!

AND THEY RUN.

93. INT. BREWSTER’S TIME TRAVEL CHAMBER.

THE TIME MACHINE POWERING DOWN.

BREWSTER:
Done it. The space-time wormhole has closed. Doctor? (PAUSE) He’s hung up.

MENZIES:
No. I think he’s probably just lost the signal...

94. EXT. SURFACE OF THE PLANET SYMBIOS.

NORMAL B/G. TERRAVORE QUEEN CAN BE HEARD.

EVELYN:
What have you done?

DOCTOR:
Broken the link between Symbios and Earth.

EVELYN:
But the Terravore Queen... is still here.

DOCTOR:
And she alone. Watch.

TERRAVORE QUEEN:
I have lost contact with the swarm. Connection broken! Restore contact! Connection broken!


Finally. Rather than yours truly re-writing the story, the second draft of the story was written by Eddie Robson, for four excellent reasons. 1) Because he’d created the character of Menzies and would be able to write her better than I could 2) Because it meant that I could then rewrite Eddie’s Industrial Evolution 3) Because it would make the whole re-writing process quicker and more fun to swap work rather than wade through the same old nonsense a second time and 4) Because Eddie is an excellent writer. And the deal was that both of us would then be able to do a third draft on our own stories in order to put it back how it was make sure we were entirely happy with it.

To give you some idea of how much this process improved things, here’s a couple of the scenes which were most heavily rewritten. First my original draft, and then my third draft, after Eddie’s been through it making all the characters talk like human beings:

SCENE 8. POLICE CELL. 

[...]

DOCTOR:
Not my fault. The mechanical assassin was booby-trapped.

MENZIES:
Of course it was. So why do you think this robot housefly was so desperate to put you out of action?

DOCTOR:
I haven’t the slightest idea.

MENZIES:
You surprise me.

DOCTOR:
I mean, I’m not without enemies, but I don’t recall ever falling-out with anybody who used such devices...

MENZIES:
No?

DOCTOR:
But of course, there’s always the possibility that I may be experiencing the consequences of events which lie in my personal future.

MENZIES:
Of course, it’s obvious now you say it.

DOCTOR:
An occupational hazard for the time-traveller.

MENZIES:
I can imagine.

DOCTOR:
But there is something that’s very odd about all of this.

MENZIES:
What?

DOCTOR:
You don’t disbelieve me. I just informed you I was a time-traveller... and you didn’t question it!

MENZIES:
That’s the problem with me, you see, Doctor. I’m too trusting. I don’t have a cynical bone in my body.

DOCTOR:
(THINKING) Menzies... are you sure we haven’t met?

...which then became:

SCENE 8. POLICE CELL. 

[...]

DOCTOR:
Not my fault. The mechanical assassin was booby-trapped. I’m sure you find it all rather difficult to believe -

MENZIES:
Not really.

DOCTOR:
Oh.

MENZIES:
I’m a trusting sort, Doctor. Not a cynical bone in my body. Plus, your story tallies with eyewitness reports, including one from our own officer.

DOCTOR:
Good! So I can go, then?

MENZIES:
No.

DOCTOR:
Why not?

MENZIES:
Because, Doctor, that’s not what I meant when I asked what you were doing here. You’re really saying you don’t know?

DOCTOR:
(THINKING) Menzies... are you sure we haven’t met?

MENZIES:
(THINKING ON HER FEET) No. I’ve never seen you before in my life.

And:

SCENE 11. POLICE CELL

DOCTOR:
Bearing that in mind, Detective Inspector, might I ask why you’re keeping me here? This isn’t exactly routine procedure.

MENZIES:
You blew up a police boat and caused irreparable damage to a world heritage site!

DOCTOR:
And you have witnesses making it clear I was not responsible. No. You must have some other reason.

MENZIES:
Okay. It’s like this. The Met have been getting reports of some new gang that’s been set up in East London. Led by a guy calling himself ‘the Doctor’.

DOCTOR:
Interesting.

MENZIES:
So far they’ve been pretty small-time, but the word on the street is, this ‘Doctor’ is just getting the funds together to finance something more ambitious.

DOCTOR:
I’m afraid I can’t really help you – Patricia, wasn’t it? I’ve only recently arrived -

MENZIES:
So you have no idea why someone with your name is heading up a criminal gang?

DOCTOR:
Coincidence? I do have one question for you, though.

MENZIES:
What?

DOCTOR:
Why is a detective from Manchester investigating a gangster in London?

...which then became:

SCENE 11. POLICE CELL

DOCTOR:
Can you please explain what it is you think I’ve done?

MENZIES:
Okay. It’s like this. The Met have been getting reports of some new gang that’s been set up in East London. Led by a fella calling himself ‘the Doctor’.

DOCTOR:
Interesting.

MENZIES:
Nobody’s sure what they’re up to. So far it’s just been odd bits of theft here and there, but his gang seems to be getting bigger and bigger. This ‘Doctor’ seems to be building up to something more ambitious.

DOCTOR:
Well, I’m sorry – Patricia, wasn’t it? But whoever this ‘Doctor’ is, it’s not me. I’ve only recently arrived in London – and so have you, I gather.

MENZIES:
Why do you say that?

DOCTOR:
Your ID card says you’re with the Greater Manchester Police. Sorry, I should have asked before taking it from your wallet but I didn’t like to interrupt. So, you have a special interest in this case?

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